During his 40-year career, certified public accountant William Miller Jr. says he’s lived much of his life alongside his clients – serving as a trusted adviser to individuals he’s watched grow and change.
“You get to learn about financial assets and that’s usually a pretty private subject for people. You get to go through marriages, births of children, divorces, deaths, so I have always felt like I’ve lived my life along with the clients living their life,” he says. “I’m not in the accounting business. I’m in the relationship business.”
Today, he’s a CPA at Miller & Associates CPAs and Advisors LLC, which he founded in 2014. In 2017, Miller had $385,000 in individual annual billings among his 200 clients, up from $353,000 in 2016 and $340,000 in 2015.
Miller knew at a young age that he wanted to be a CPA. His senior year of high school he enrolled in an accounting class where the teacher, noting his aptitude for the occupation, helped him connect with another more advanced class.
“I knew what I was going to do going into college. I always felt like it just came natural,” Miller says.
He earned his bachelor’s in accounting from Missouri State University before jumping into the industry. He worked first as a partner at Phillips & Miller CPAS from 1978 to 1989. In 1989, it became Kirkpatrick Phillips and Miller CPAs PC and in the early 2000s became KPM CPAs PC.
After 25 years at KPM, Miller left in 2014 to found Miller & Associates.
Although he’s a veteran in the field, Miller still keeps his skills honed to provide the most trusted advice for clients. This includes 60-70 hours of continuing education classes annually and voracious reading.
“My late-night reading is typically tax and financial publications,” he says.
He also is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, AICPA Tax Section and the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants. In addition to being a CPA, Miller also is an accredited investment fiduciary, certified divorce financial analyst and has Series 7 and Series 63 licenses.
Miller uses his experience as an asset for the community. He is involved with numerous local charities including The Child Advocacy Center Inc., Harmony House, Isabel’s House, Ozarks Food Harvest, The Good Samaritan Boys Ranch, Boys and Girls Clubs of Springfield Inc., Betty and Bobby Allison Ozarks Counseling Center, Discovery Center of Springfield Inc., Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks and The Kitchen Inc.
Miller says directors of charities often approach him asking for assistance on ways to better fundraise or to connect them with potential donors. He additionally teaches his accounting clients how to redirect their tax dollars to local causes – benefiting both parties involved.
“My involvement with those organizations really is raising money for them,” Miller says. “I show clients how they can redirect their taxes, as I do, to local charities and it’s worked out well for everybody.”
Educating individuals on how to best manage their finances is at the heart of what Miller does, creating a better quality of life for those who he advises. To make this happen, he has an open-door policy where the people he advises can ask for assistance to remedy a problem or make their goals a reality.
“I want clients to feel comfortable asking any questions and knowing what is going on in their lives,” he says. “The more you know, the better decisions you assist clients to make.”
SBJ survey data is used to analyze the flow of money.
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